Mother Maggie’s congee

“My mother’s congee is my earliest food memory. I have been eating it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner since I could eat solid food. It’s also pretty much the only thing I want to eat when I’m sick. There are innumerable combinations of ingredients you can put in congee, but I always come back to this recipe. It is a humble dish, but for me, it brings me comfort, satisfaction, and happiness. And it’s delicious. On occasion, I will forego the pork floss, and eat the congee with cut up Chinese long donut, which is called ‘Deep Fried Bad Guy’ in my household!” – Adrienne Pan, CBC News Edmonton TV Host

  • 2 c jasmine Rice
  • water
  • 2 oz fresh ginger, cut into big chunks
  • 4 oz salted lean pork, julienned
  • 1 T oil
  • 1 T salt
  • 4 preserved duck eggs (chop into 6 pieces per half egg, if the pieces are too small they will dissolve into the congee)
  • 1 can preserved cucumber
  • pork floss*
  • green onion

Rinse rice. Put rice into a mixing bowl. Add salt and oil. Fill bowl with enough hot tap water to cover the rice. Let soak for 20 minutes. In large stock or soup pot, bring 5 litres of water to a boil. Add the rice mixture and ginger to pot. Bring back to boil, then reduce heat to medium to maintain a low boil for approximately 45 minutes. Partially cover with lid. Stir occasionally. When the congee reaches an oatmeal-like consistency it is ready. (If you like a thinner congee, add more water and cook for a few minutes.) Add the pork and duck eggs to the congee. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Portion out servings, then add the green onion, preserved cucumber, pork floss, and salt to taste.

Serves 8.

*Pork floss (also called rousong, bak ho): Thread-like highly seasoned dried pork available by the package in most Asian grocery stores.